The Editorial Board
October 20, 2023
For the last ten years, students on The Nobleman—those enrolled in the Journalism class—have endured the antiquated Pass/Fail evaluation system. As the Editorial Board, we firmly assert that this entrenched practice undermines the relentless dedication of our staff and must be promptly reassessed. We view this not just in the context of our revamped schedule but through the lens of an equitable educational landscape.
This year, The Nobleman staff inherited an outmoded Pass/Fail grading system that unjustly implies a lighter workload compared to core academic classes. Our revamped schedule now aligns our class with core academic counterparts, meeting four times per seven-day cycle. The responsibilities we shoulder, from conducting interviews to crafting articles, editing content, and producing multimedia, often exceed the demands of our peers in traditional academic classes. This commitment extends beyond classroom hours, dominating our free periods during the day and encroaching on our evening study hours.
Furthermore, performing arts classes have recently shifted from Pass/Fail grades to a letter-grading system, so as to reinforce the validity of the arts department and their contributions to our community. This then begs the question: why not us, as well? Does The Nobleman not hold similar importance to the larger Nobles community? Indeed, we suspect that familiarity breeds contempt; that the frequency with which we produce content has dulled the apparent worth of our product; that when students receive a letter-grade for participating in the performing articles, while The Nobleman staff receive a “P” for contributing towards a school-wide publication, it is a spit in our faces.
An additional argument in favor of the Pass/Fail system rests on the diversity of roles and duties within our staff. We understand the challenges of equitable evaluation among different roles, from staff writers to photographers. However, this lack of standardization can be readily addressed by crafting role-specific evaluative rubrics. Such a system would afford us the bandwidth to expand beyond the binary status quo and implement a gradient that effectively recognizes the merit of our staff.
Administration: we write to you not for a pity GPA-boost but rather on behalf of our staff, who have gone unrecognized for all they have done to put this newspaper in your hands.
The path forward is clear. In this new era of education, where equity and recognition are more important than ever, it’s time for the Journalism class to be unburdened by outdated grading practices. We—the Editorial Board—call for a fair evaluation system that reflects the immense dedication and excellence of our staff. It is time to usher in a new era for The Nobleman, one where our hard work is acknowledged, celebrated, and truly assessed on its merits.